Recently two themes have been emerging in the content here on Audio Reckoning: the impending holiday in honour of the forces of darkness, and The Velvet Underground. Audio Reckoning’s Album Cover Of The Week will continue this thematic trend with an album that fits both ideas: Lou Reed’s Rock n Roll Animal, released in 1974.
This album is appropriate album for Halloween, because Lou is completely decked out in androgynous goth garb. He looks like a glam-rock Frankenstein’s monster, much the same as he the cover of his first hit solo album Transformer. The submissive body language and his sparkling accessories give the whole thing a sexually ambiguous quality, which was very much in vogue in the mid 1970s, aka The Age Of Bowie. A lot of the cutting-edge rock stars of the period were adopting a more theatrical approach to image, and Lou Reed had been doing that for some time.
The album itself is Lou’s attempt to put on a professional, “greatest hits” type of show, and with his backing band he does indeed play more listener-friendly versions of his best-known songs. Strengthening the Halloween connection is the fact that two members of his band, Pentti Glan (drums) and Prakash John (bass), both went on to play with Alice Cooper, and who could be more Halloween than Alice Cooper?
Side note: Lou Reed is back in the news today, as his collaborative album with Metallica has begun streaming online. Metallica is pretty creepy in general, so there’s another Halloween connection.